Inflammation is at The Root of Many Chronic Diseases
By Cesar Collado
When discussing chronic sinusitis, mold illness, and general healing, inflammation or the inflammatory response is at the core of each of these discussions. When the body encounters damaged tissues, foreign invaders, infection, or irritants, the body’s first defense is to deploy its very complicated immune system to begin the healing process. Five classic symptoms that indicate the body is actively working to heal or fight infection are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function.
Behind the scenes, a complex cascade of biological processes occurs. Vasodilation or increased blood flow cause redness and heat. Increased permeability of the blood vessels results in a leakage of blood plasma proteins and fluid into the tissue or swelling. Some of the released inflammatory mediators increase sensitivity to pain. The mediator molecules also alter the blood vessels to permit the migration of white blood cells and macrophages into the tissue.1 Their job is to kill and remove the invaders. The white blood cells migrate to reach the site of injury. The loss of function is often the result of a neurological reflex in response to pain. This is how the body heals itself. Healing inevitably begins within a few days of exposure and/or injury.
Regardless of where the infection or injury is, it is the body’s immune response that causes pain sensations. These acute responses are often treated with anti-inflammatory medications (Aspirin, NSAIDs, Acetaminophen) to address the pain. In cases where bacteria are the primary cause of the infection, antibiotics are used in combination with OTC glucocorticoid steroids and antihistamines with satisfaction. In the case of fungal or parasitic infections, these medications do not address the cause or the source (mold, for example) and pain continues. Left untreated, a chronic or more dire condition can follow.
If the cause of inflammation is not removed, the inflammation can become persistent and chronic. When chronic inflammation occurs, longer term inflammatory disorders can develop. There are over 80 types of autoimmune diseases. Approximately 24 M people in the US suffer from autoimmune disorders.2
For the immune system to properly do its job, it must have the ability to tell the difference between self and foreign. There are a number of reasons that can make the body unable to tell the difference. When this happens, the body makes auto-antibodies that attack normal cells by mistake. At the same time, special cells called regulatory T-cells fail to do their job of keeping the immune system in line. The result is a misguided attack on your own body. This causes the damage we know as autoimmune disease. The body parts that are affected depend on the type of autoimmune disease.
Anyone can be susceptible to autoimmune diseases; but, there are certain populations that may be predisposed. Women, in general, acquire autoimmune diseases more so than men, which often start during their childbearing years. Some autoimmune diseases are genetic and run in families, such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. Others are more common or affect certain ethnic groups of people more severely. Finally, exposure to environmental antigens or toxins may cause some autoimmune diseases, or make them worse. Chemicals, allergens, mold, viral and bacterial infections are all linked to many autoimmune diseases.
Inflammatory Disorders Underlie Many Common Chronic Diseases
Inflammatory abnormalities are a large group of disorders that underlie many human diseases. The immune system is often involved with inflammatory disorders, also demonstrated in some myopathies (disease of the muscle, deterioration or function), with most resulting in abnormal inflammation. Common inflammatory diseases are Celiac disease, Chronic prostatitis, Colitis, Diverticulitis, Hypersensitivities, Inflammatory bowel diseases,
Pelvic inflammatory disease, Reperfusion injury, Rheumatic fever, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sarcoidosis, and Vasculitis.
In patients where diseases do not have a known cause or conclusive diagnosis, such as fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, inflammation is likely the source; however, there has been no conclusive diagnostic and disease physiology is still being researched.
Challenges to Getting A Proper Diagnosis
Because of the complexity of inflammatory disorders, there are challenges to finding the right physician to diagnose and treat them properly. A general practitioner may perform a standard blood diagnostic panel and exam; but, an individual physician may not have the expertise or breadth of experience or make the right diagnosis or specific referral. Perhaps, the biggest obstacle to treating these diseases is the healthcare system itself. Healthcare Professionals with specific expertise to medically treat these disorders include:
- Allergists who address allergies and the body’s response to allergens;
- Nephrologists who treat kidney problems, such as inflamed kidneys caused by lupus. Kidneys are organs that clean the blood and produce urine;
- Rheumatologists who treat arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, such as scleroderma and lupus;
- Endocrinologists who treat gland and hormone problems, such as diabetes and thyroid disease;
- Neurologists who treat nerve problems, such as multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis. They also treat cognitive dysfunction;
- Hematologists who treat diseases that affect blood, such as some forms of anemia;
- Gastroenterologists whotreat problems with the digestive system, such as inflammatory bowel disease;
- Dermatologists who treat diseases that affect the skin, hair, and nails, such as psoriasis and lupus;
- And Other Healthcare Professionals, such as Nutritionists, Physical therapists, Occupational therapists, Speech therapists, Audiologists, and Mental Health Professionals for emotional support.
What may not be obvious is the fact that many inflammatory diseases may require the services of several of the specialists above, including your primary care doctor.
The path to find the right specialist can be frustrating, expensive, and painful. Making the path more difficult is the often-maddening insurance processes that are primarily focused on minimizing health care expenditures. Misdiagnosis is another major obstacle for patients where the wrong diagnosis leads to prolonged illness and adverse events associated with unnecessary medicines. To complicate the situation further, physician schedules do not offer adequate time or standard protocols to consult with each other about an individual patient. (Note: there are some healthcare systems that have endeavored to acquire virtually all specialties and clinics needed for patients in their system with integrated information technology to establish continuity in care.)
This list does not include physicians who practice integrative, functional, and holistic medicine that treat the “whole body” including all of the biological systems and how they work in balance with each other. These physicians often employ diet and lifestyle changes in addition to other treatment modalities that have been proven successful in treating inflammation and inflammatory disorders. When an environmental cause is suspected, these healthcare professionals seem to be the most readily prepared and knowledgeable to identify and treat persistent inflammation and to lead patients through a detoxification process.
Non-immune diseases with causal origins in inflammatory processes include atherosclerosis, cancer, and Neurological Diseases.
Atherosclerosis (and Ischemic Heart Disease)
Atherosclerosis often considered a lipid clogging disease, actually involves an ongoing inflammatory response. Recent advances in basic science have established a fundamental role for inflammation in mediating all stages of this disease from initiation through progression and, ultimately, the thrombotic complications of atherosclerosis. These new findings provide important links between risk factors and the mechanisms of atherogenesis.
There is growing clinical data surrounding the biology of inflammation in atherosclerosis applies directly to human patients.
For example, inflammation can worsen the stiffening of arteries and promote plaque accumulation in some people with high cholesterol, high triglycerides and other risk factors for heart disease. These risk factors can irritate the inner lining of the blood vessels and cause an inflammatory response. Inflammation increases the risk for dangerous clots, rather than eradicate the problem.3
Cancer immunology has been used for decades to battle the toxic effects of chemotherapy in patients. There is an emerging field of Cancer Immunology, where therapy works to inhibit some inflammation and hormonal pathways while supporting pathways that suppress cancer. It is now known that inflammation orchestrates the microenvironment around tumors, contributing to proliferation, survival and migration. Cancer cells use inflammatory mediators and their receptors for invasion, migration and metastasis.
Neurodegenerative Disease and Psychiatric Illness
There is growing evidence that the brain has an innate inflammatory defense that can attack brain tissue and the pituitary gland (which controls 8 hormonal systems in the body). In the mid-1980s it was discovered that microglia in the AD cortex could be labeled with antibodies to major histocompatibility complex type II cell surface glycoprotein (MHCII), a classic marker for activated immune cells. Today, microglia are generally recognized as the brain’s resident macrophages, and are considered to be pivotal players in innate immune/inflammatory responses in multiple neurologic disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, HIV dementia, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and others.4.
In fact, the brain has a candida receptor that can be activated by yeast overgrowth in the gut. There are more than 180 toxic byproducts from Candida that have been associated to behavior changes and neurotransmitter depletion. Candia overgrowth can be associated with inability to concentrate, headaches, memory loss, bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADHD, schizophrenia, and Depression.5
Preventative and Homeopathic Solutions to Fight Inflammation
There are several foods that fight inflammation: Tomatoes, Vegetables & Fruits, Nuts, Olive oil, Leafy greens, Fatty fish.
There are also foods that cause inflammation: Fast food in general (due to preparation and ingredients), fried food, gluten, refined sugars, sodas, processed meats, alcohol, and saturated fats.
You can also employ a Candida Diet for sustained health if you suffer from inflammatory disease. You can see Dr. Dennis’ Candida Diet HERE)
Supporting the Body’s Acute or Innate Immune System to Quickly Combat Inflammation
If you consider your skin and other protective mechanisms while you’re breathing, the innate immune system (T Cells) are your first line of defense when a foreign invader enters the body. Sinus Defense contains transfer factor that is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. Transfer factor is the mechanism by which immunity can be acquired or transferred from a mother’s antibodies through the colostrum in her breast milk to her children. Sinus Defense capitalizes on this science by using colostrum containing antibodies to mold and many other indoor allergens and viruses.With each use, the body becomes more adept at identifying, tagging, and remembering mold and other invaders. Then, the innate immune system can immediately kill and remove the antigen. Without this boost, the adaptive immune system can take weeks or may never develop antibodies to attack specific antigens.
Supporting the Immune System
CellTropin supports the pituitary gland, as it can often be damaged by inflammatory disease. It promotes cellular recovery and healing, especially when inflammation disrupts pituitary function, symptoms of which include hormone dysregulation, low thyroid, and adrenal fatigue. CellTropin is formulated with Pituitary extract to normalize hormone deficiencies, Arginine to support improved circulation and cellular production, and astragalus root to decrease the DNA damage inherent with toxic exposures.
1. Cotran; Kumar, Collins (1998). Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease. Philadelphia: W.B Saunders Company.
2.“Autoimmune diseases fact sheet”. OWH. 16 July 2012. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016.
3. Heid, Markham, “What is inflammation and why should I care?” Time Magazine, April 11, 2018
4. Wyss-Coray, Tony, et. al. “Inflammation in Alzheimer Disease—A Brief Review of the Basic Science and Clinical Literature”, Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. Jan 2012
5. Severance, Emily,“Candida albicans exposures, sex specificity and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder”, May 4, 2016, Nature, npj/Schizophrenia